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John Foley
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Amazon's Three Steps To Cloud Computing

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels is preparing a paper that summarizes his views on how large companies can adopt cloud services. Here's a sneak peek at his soon-to-be-published report.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels is preparing a paper that summarizes his views on how large companies can adopt cloud services. Here's a sneak peek at his soon-to-be-published report.I got a chance to talk to Werner at the InformationWeek 500 conference a few weeks ago in Data Point, Calif. The topic of our hour-long conversation, in front of a live audience, was "Can The Cloud Scale For The Enterprise?" You can view the full video, which covers a lot of ground, below.

Werner spends a good deal of his time in the market serving as a sounding board and adviser to CIOs and CTOs who are assessing where cloud services should fit into their IT plans. Based on that experience, he's outlining best practices in a paper that I expect to be released any day. At the IW500 conference, he boiled it down to a three-step process:

First, all new development of Web applications gets done in the cloud.

Second, IT departments plug into the cloud selectively to learn what works. This is a near-term step and you could call it proof of concept, but Vogels says it actually goes beyond experimentation for many companies. Maybe it's using the cloud for application development and testing or for SharePoint services, for example.

Third, IT managers need to assess their overall IT portfolio to see what can be moved into the cloud over the long term. One level of assessment should take place around application types (HPC, knowledge management, etc.). Another around "dependencies," ie. your installed database management software and data center hardware. Risk and ROI are part of the assessment, too.

To hear Werner in his own words on strategies for enterprise cloud readiness, fast forward to the 47th minute of the video. If you have time to take in the whole interview, other topics of discussion include the various roles of the CTO, build versus buy software, and cloud security and licensing.

InformationWeek and Dr. Dobb's have published an in-depth report on how Web application development is moving to online platforms. Download the report here (registration required).

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